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Beating the Odds

Using Humor

Last night comedian Don Rickles was a guest on Craig Ferguson’s talk show.

Rickles is a legend who gained fame through his good-natured insults. Sure enough, the minute he got on the stage, he jabbed everyone in sight: the host, the audience, everyone.

Pretty soon everyone in the building was in stitches. Rickles’ comedy is a perfect balance: no one takes his barbs personally, but it’s impossible to take yourself too seriously when he is around.

That’s why years ago, when Tommy Lasorda was managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, he would now and then bring Rickles into the clubhouse.

Rickles would walk in and begin insulting the players. They would laugh. He would quickly cure any ego trips. What a tonic in the middle of a pressure-packed pennant race!

Do you use laughter in your gym? Maybe you can’t bring in Rickles, but you can look at ways to keep things loose. Let it happen; don’t force it.

Legendary soccer coach Anson Dorrance says his practices are a mixture of intense competition and a light-hearted atmosphere.

This is a perfect climate for anyone wanting to do well: Compete. Work hard. Have fun.

Here’s a clip of Rickles with Ferguson.


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